Blog | May 15, 2013

The Most Common Mistakes MSPs Make With Off-Site Backups

By The Business Solutions Network


I recently spoke with three industry experts about the topic of cloud/off-site backups. I asked them about the most common mistakes MSPs make with regard to selling and implementing this kind of solution/service. Here is what they’re seeing as well as some tips they shared.

Tom Simon, director of sales at Datto shared:

  • While a BDR may be easy to use, it’s important not to “set it and forget it”.  It needs to be managed.  This is made easier with a good partner portal.
  • Pricing.  MSPs should set up a pricing structure that is most advantageous to them, and set a recurring revenue model.
  • Training.  MSPs should take advantage of all training their vendors offer.  This will help MSPs become true experts on the technology and solution, therefore creating more value for their clients.
  • Management of SLAs.  It’s key to create, communicate, and manage a service level agreement that is understood by both the MSP and its client.
  • It’s important for MSPs to have a full range of solutions, based on both end user size and specific needs. 

Jamie Brenzel, CEO of KineticD, said:

  • Trusting in a partner that doesn’t have staying power is a common mistake. Countless vendors have just closed shop with little notice. Make sure you validate a potential backup vendor’s financials before you partner with them.
  • Even though it’s VERY important to test restores regularly, it’s just as equally important to have a test plan in case of disaster.
  • Failing to create a service level agreement (SLA) that includes monitoring of the client’s backups.

Charles Patsios, director of channel marketing at Unitrends, added:

  • If the MSP doesn’t perform due diligence in the initial exploratory audit, the ultimate outcome can often be a subpar solution for the customer.
  • Common mistakes are made around data size and change rate regarding the ability to move the data through constraining systems such as Internet connectivity, having a significant impact on RTO in situations where it is not appropriately sized.
  • Additionally, end customers often neglect to understand their rate of data growth and how it impacts their data protection strategy and framework.  The MSP/VAR should walk the customers through different data growth rates and data loss scenarios to provide the most optimal data protection and recovery solution. For example, a common mistake MSPs make with off-site backup would be that they do not understand the customer’s expected RTO (recovery time objective) or SLA.  The data may be protected and safely stored off-sight; however, the recovery time to bring the business back online may not be able to be met due to the lack of sizing the appropriate pipe (throughput) between the cloud provider and the business operations on premise.  Understanding the prospect’s expectations is critical to the success of an offline backup offering.